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New Working Group: “Harnessing the world’s academies to combat predatory academic journals and conferences”

13 August 2019

The InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) have issued a call for working group nominations to a planned IAP study, “Harnessing the world’s academies to combat predatory academic journals and conferences.”

Project Summary

Predatory and fake journals, publishers, and conferences, or those that are profit-motivated, employ exploitative tactics, and produce low quality products without peer review, increasingly plague the scientific enterprise. Despite significant efforts to raise awareness of this problem within the research community and to expose suspected perpetrators, these entities continue to proliferate, with early-career researchers and those in developing countries being especially targeted. The InterAcademy Partnership for Policy will undertake an evidence-based study aimed at providing concrete solutions to combat this important global policy-for-science issue.

The proposed study will have three primary objectives:

  1.  Examine efforts to date to combat predatory and fake journals, publishers and conferences and provide concrete recommendations for the creation of a neutral, widely respected clearinghouse for journal and conference standards assurance in partnership with scientific publishers, including open access platforms;
  2.  Design clear journal and conference standards applicable across fields for assessing journal and conference quality and for justifying blacklisting, with a transparent process for appeal by publishers and conference organizers; and
  3.  Evaluate and provide recommendations on open peer review models and protocols, including the possibility of publishing the anonymized peer reviews for each published scientific article, and that reviewers receive professional recognition for their peer review service.

The final report will contain specific sets of recommendations targeted for research sponsors, research institutions and administrators, publishers and open science platforms, scientific societies and the broader research community. The IAP’s global network of academies, most of their members embedded in universities and other research institutions will be another important audience for the report, with specific recommended tasks for national academies in their particular nation or region. Recognizing that early-career researchers are a primary target of these predatory practices, the Global Young Academy – a new member of the IAP – will have a focus on enlisting the growing number of National Young Academies (NYAs) in the effort (some 40 nations currently have an NYA).

Timeline 

It is anticipated that the study will require approximately 18 months to complete, with an aim to begin in late 2019.

Study Panel Composition

Drawing on IAP’s extensive global network, the study will be led by a diverse expert panel representing a range of countries, disciplines, and stakeholder groups. The panel will include approximately 10 members with expertise in the library sciences, publishing, research funding, and various disciplinary research sectors. It will be assisted by a professional study director and a secretariat primarily supported by the US National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM). The panel will be co-chaired by an early-career scientist and another expert from a developing country.

Expectations of the Study Panel

Panel members should be willing to guide the project development strategy, assist with project implementation, and support dissemination and implementation within their region and area of expertise. They are expected to attend all international panel meetings (a total of three meetings are anticipated over the 18-month project) as well as conference calls and email correspondence as needed. Travel costs, including premium economy flights, lodging, and meals, will be met by the project.

Selection criteria

The committee will be selected and vetted according to IAP Policy’s procedures, under which the IAP Policy Co-Chairs develop a committee slate and submit it to the IAP Policy Board for approval. The process is aimed at achieving a balance of perspectives and expertise, as well as ensuring objectivity. Nominations will be shortlisted according to their experience, geography and institutional affiliation(s), to create a broad mix of experts. The Board will make every effort to ensure that the Committee is representative of gender, age and ethnicity. Nominees need not be members of the nominating academy.

To express an interest in being nominated by the Royal Irish Academy, please send the following information to policy@ria.ie by Wednesday 28th August 2019:
Name 
Position
Institutional affiliation(s) 
Contact details
Rationale / credentials for inclusion in working group (one paragraph max)
Short biography (one paragraph max)

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